Remember when you were young and you would dream something wild and dash to your crayons. You would then draw a magnificent picture of your creation. A wonder that the world cannot live without.
As we “grow-up” we still dream of fascinating creations. But instead of recording them on paper, we immediately think that will never fly and go on with our day.
Months, then years pass and to our amazement, you see that fascinating creation alive and think, I thought of that..
The moral is that some of the amazing ideas that pop into your head are fascinating creations. Draw them out, write their story. Who can it hurt? It might look better on paper than abstractly floating in your stuffed, overworked brain.
Who knows after a little tweaking and some outside input you might have the next big idea. It has better odds that the lottery and is a lot more fun.
Most of us are familiar with the Müller-Lyer Illusion that teaches us that what we think we see is not always correct. It is an illusion that the top line is longer than the bottom and if we had not been told that they are the same length, we would have walked away thinking the lines are not equal. Sometimes we simply need to slow down and take a good measure of the situation we are reviewing.
The key to these “tests” is to remind us to take time and bypass our fast, save our B-Hind thinking process and use the other part of our brain to press pause and think the situation through.
This takes on greater significance in our business. We all know we know the most knowledgeable folk in our individual businesses. In fact, if the Supreme Court required an expert witness to testify on anything about your industry, you would be number one with a bullet on the list. But this “insider” knowledge does not preclude us from making errors. Examples such as these two simple arrows ought to remind us to take a moment and slow down.
“Looking back over the last decade, I have made many good fast decisions, but I have nearly never made good rushed decisions. The former can be made from a place of calm, whereas the latter come from a place of turbulence and blurred judgment.” Tim Ferriss, 1-20-2020 Blog Entry
A few reasons that you might want to STOP and review your decision
This decision might be for a customer that has specific unique demands.
This bid just might have unique opportunities that have not been addressed.
This product is for a custom job with a lot of bespoke products and regular sizing might not work.
This product line does not look great but the team behind it really talented
No matter what we know, it can and will change. So everytime you see interesting brain teasers like the Müller-Lyer Illusion illusion, remind yourself that the brain teaser is not the focus, it is training you mind to stop for a moment and make sure your “easy’ decision is correct and complete.
It is 10am and you have just finished a grueling white paper that you have sweated over for weeks. Job well done…now what’s next? You could start on the next report, visit your team in the bullpen or any of a hundred other easily quantifiable tasks. How do you choose?
Gary Keller emphasizes in his book, The One Thing, when we are in a situation where we can decide what to do next, we should ask ourselves what is the one thing that will deliver the best result over time. That’s it. It could be any of the above or more. Simply take a moment to review your options and get to work on the one you deem the best for all involved.
Simple, right? But I would like to add one more option to this selection process that many of us forget. Take a break. We all know that multitasking is a term that does not exist in reality but we also forget that we cannot be “on” 24/7. Work is work and home is home and both require your constant attention. But we need down time. Anything from taking a vacation to just taking a minute to stare out the window. Let your mind rest, let it go blank. After your break, you will be shocked how much more focused you will be.
So when you have finished that killer project and you are deciding what journey to take your brain on next, add rest as one of the options to choose from.
As we start out on our grand plans for the new decade. Can we make sure to take time to thank all those that help us work to succeed. We cannot improve in a vacuum.
Over our journey we will encounter many interesting and talented people. They will assist you in many ways, some of which never crossed your mind.
When you experience that helping hand, take a few seconds to look them straight in the eye and say thank you. A simple, sincere gesture accented by two words can make another person’s moment a bit better.
P. S. Even if they only crossed your life path, Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Night or Hello is a nice touch.